Thursday, September 30, 2010

Over water

We got rain for the past 2 days! Looking forward to our version of "winter." Rain (yay!), and the sun sets over water. And the first of the winter swells have come in.

A picnic dinner, watch the sunset, on a Friday, when the sails from the Ala Wai Yacht Club are out. Leave the camera at home. Right, like that's gonna happen.

It also means the increased possibility of barges and sunset cruises sitting on the sight lines; need to work that out, somehow.

As for the rain; I have been trying to work out how to shoot in the rain. In between squalls, the sky just looks so awesome. And then the wetness strikes again. Have rain gear for the camera, but none for me. Wassup wit dat?

Friday, September 24, 2010

A little negative reminiscing...

I talked about this shot in the click-through. After posting, I was thinking about all the small-kid time stories we got about Morgan's Corner, carrying pork over the Pali, Madame Pele, Night Marchers, etc.

Yes, a lot of it was made up, or based on partial truths, 3rd party 3 times removed. I can discount most of it. But, even if I've never personally experienced a Pele (usually benign) or Night Marcher (might not survive this one) encounter, I believe those. Hell yeah.

Just got the shivers in the middle of the day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cold hearted orb, that rules the night...

Love that song. But I digress. Immediately. Such a guy, eh?

I happened to see the moon peeking through the blinds. Thought about how long it's been since I actually shot one half-assed seriously. Versus full-assed "grab shot," hand-held. Okay, that didn't come out right.

Anyway, grabbed the Sigma 50-500mm, a cable release, right-angle viewer, tripod, and the Nikon D300. Because I'm blind and need all the help I can get.

The moon was still rising, so there was atmospheric heat waves, which I should try to capture one day. Not enough to cause much distortion. Spot meter, manual focus, manual aperture (or exposure lock, if you prefer), use the mirror-up function to reduce mirror slap. I use the right-angle viewer for the doubler, which really helps with fine-focus.

Processed through CS5 plus Topaz Detail. I need to remember to input more negative exposure compensation; this was a bit over-exposed, causing perceived softness. I did crop heavily, and in retrospect, probably should have positioned the subject better. But there is no background, so....?

One thing that I have never been able to figure out. My magnification appears to be significantly less than others using the same setup. Don't know what to make of it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nice morning...

Went out with the HPF folk to walk Chinatown. Certain lack of an agenda, so very free-form. As usual, got strung out and accordioned our way around.

Did a quick point at things shoot on Merchant, including Murphy's, did get to see the dead fishies at Oahu Market, where there was a reunion of a sort, walked up through Kekaulike Mall to Maunakea Marketplace. Short side-trip to Otto Cake (I think I created a monster or two), and ended up at JJ Dolans.

Nice lunch, although there seemed to be one order that got mangled. Pizza was awesome, as usual. Shared a 6-inch key lime cheesecake, sent the rest home with someone.

Nice walks, folks. Thanks for a good time.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Attempting patience before running away

Always wanted to try this; that's the Moku Ahi, literally "fire boat," moored to the right. Belongs to the Honolulu Fire Department. Who can resist clean paint, polished chrome and water at dusk?

One sees the possibilities in the area (Honolulu Harbor waterfront Ewa of the main terminal), but it also has a reputation for being a hazardous (highway roadside) and rough, as in people. So I don't stick around.

Anyone wishing to take up twilight/night photography in this area best have either a largish group, which may be hard to fit on the narrow walk, or a quick means to get away (bike?).

So I shoot and run. Pity.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bright ideas

Some of the Hawaii Photo Forums decided they wanted to do a sunrise shoot.

5:30. 5:30!!!!

Hauled my tired ass out of bed around 4. Got to the rendevouz spot around 5, because it's been at least a decade since I'd been in the area. We got out to the park before 6; the sky was already starting to glow. Park gate was closed, so we parked roadside and hoofed it in.

Setup, got the shot(s), talked photography, went to breakfast, lot of coffee...!!!

It was fun. Good people always make for a good meetup.

As far as the photo above, it was a demo of basic fill-flash against the sun. Singh-Ray Vari-ND and Auto-FP is a god-send. Besides, needed something good-looking to post. :D

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering, and why

I remember walking to work that morning, 9 years ago today. A stranger ran up to me and asked "Did you hear that the World Trade Center fell down?" Not having turned to any news yet, I shook my head, wondering what was going on.

When I got to work, I got to see the news and, like everyone else, was shocked. As the details came out, there was sadness, but surprisingly no anger, yet. In subsequent days, there was the unveiling of who the purported masterminds were, and the ensuing conflict that resulted. Was there anger? Yes! But it wasn't against a peoples, but an group of individuals. It would have been easy to blame a country, easy to point fingers and say the blame for what happened is there. Which is what happened.

In hindsight, yes it was an attack on America. Yes, Americans should be galvanized and remember the events of that horrible day, and the lives lost and families torn asunder. But, I am saddened that it took such an act to shake Americans out of their apathy, and at the prejudices that are tainting current events. History repeats itself, and I fear the repercussions on future generations will be dear.

- - -

Remember who we are, how we got here, and why we are allowed to do and say what we do. We, a nation built on diversity, must be careful not to turn on itself because of that diversity. We need to be strong, together, or those that oppose our way of life will pick us apart. For those whose lives were taken on during that fateful day, those who gave their lives trying to rescue the victimized, and those that have given their lives supporting our right to live the way we do, remember that we are Americans, and we need to come together instead of being divisive.

Master Cory is in town

Went out last night to Genius Bar (Lewers St) to celebrate Cory Lum being in town. A little eating and imbibing, lots of talking. Good times.

The storytellers did their thing; tummy hurt from laughing so much. They really do need to write this stuff down.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Panic, it's what's for dinner.

The not so executive summary, for those that were following this...

Asked what the dinner plans were, as I am one of those that takes HOURS to get things done for a Sunday dinner. No plans, no word; fine, I'm going shopping.

I had planned to try Nikki's Ginger Chicken recipe (did I mis-type before? Yipes), but I didn't get things done on Saturday; it is one of those "best prepared the day before" things. That's okay, I do know how to roast a chicken, so went hunting for that.

Got to the market; chickens hadn't run away yet, so get a couple of those. Run over to produce to see what they have (I revise on the run, sometimes build menus on the run). Found fresh thyme (favorite herb. Don't smoke), saw strawberries (2-fer), found some lemons, organic greens and butter, garlic. Red and russet potatoes; (s)mash sounds like a good idea (I leave the skin on the reds), so got some cream, too. Mushrooms, must have mushrooms, at almost any cost. And ice cream; 2-fer here, too.

Get home, put the strawberries to macerating (sugar, vanilla extract). Start the lemon butter (thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice) for the chicken, and someone gets home with food, announcing they have dinner. Yay, no need cook. Shut it down and go back to vegging with Anthony Bourdain (No Reservations marathon!).

Hour later; announcement that I am cooking after all. Ack! Timing is all off; I normally start at 2:00, and it is now after 3:00.

Get the chickens (2) going; clean up the chickens, reserving the parts for gravy, rip out the excess fat. Run the prepared butter under the skin, put lemons in the cavity, truss the birdies up, rub them down with the rest of the butter, get them in the oven.

Get the mushroom giblet gravy going; brown off the chicken guts, get them boiling. Slice up the mushrooms, get them toasted. Add broth, demiglace and seasoning later (use veal demiglace in all my gravies...I'm lazy). Thickening and mushrooms at the end.

Peel the russets, cut up the reds, get them boiling. Put out the butter to soften, get some cream warmed up.

Prepped some salad stuffs; needed to offset the massive fat-footprint this meal will leave behind.

Stopped to type up an update; hmm....

Potatoes are done; get them mashed and seasoned. This, I can do even while delirious; it's been done. Besides, the knife-work is already done, so the worst that can happen is I pour boiling water on my foot. O_o

Check the chicken; added 30 minutes, and it appeared to be done. Pull and rest. Finish off the gravy, add mushrooms.

Start breaking down the chicken (it's a paper-plate dinner), and find some light red areas. Now, I am actually okay with this, but some are not, so cut everything up and threw it back in for another 15 minutes. In the meantime, got the rest of the spread out and rang the dinner bell (we're on "Hawaiian Time").

Ice cream and strawberries for the post repast fill-the-gaps finish.

- Biggest surprise; the seasoning was pretty much right-on, across the board. First time for everything.

Feel the light!

Light illuminates, shadow shapes.

Mantra of the light-painter*. Still haven't got this down.

One day, one day.

BTW, you shouldn't be staring at the light. Bad for you, makes you see green spots for days. Trust me on that; don't try this at home, kids.

*photography = paint with light.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Got my homage in...

Love bacon. Was informed that it was (Inter)National Bacon Day. So I had an excuse.

It's baked, and therefore it's healthy, right?

May you find many rainbows

I hear that these are not as common in some places as Hawaii. Unless the weather is devoid of moisture, I fail to understand how this could be.

All it takes is sun on one side, rain on the other, and you in the center... Maybe that's the problem; not being in the center. Hmm...

May you all find your center.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quickie post

So David duChemin is running a CS5 Master Collection giveaway at his blog...too cool!

As part of the "rules of entry," we tell the world about Craft&Vision. While obviously a big push for folk that carry his eBook, it looks pretty good. No free lunch, right?

Short fuse on this, so hurry! Oh wait, if more people enter, my chances go down. Okay, don't hurry!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Friday Honolulu for September 2010

I think I jinxed myself the last time; will have to try again.

Citizenship reminder: Vote!

Vote! It's your duty and responsibility as a citizen in the U.S., and a right you have as a member of the community. People die for the chance to do this in some places, sometimes literally; don't take it for granted.

Besides, it preserves your right to bitch. If you don't vote, you have lost the right to complain about the state of government, in my eyes. At least go through the process, submit a blank ballot if need be (because you don't like anyone). That's a statement unto itself: "And the leading vote-getter is...blank".

C'mon, you only do it twice every 2 years, what's so freakin' hard about that?

(Afterthought: it would be harder for our deployed service members, and I thank them for their service.)